This paper considers the historic concept of flânerie, the act of “strolling” through urban spaces, as an unconventional approach to gathering qualitative data. In adopting a flânerie identity, the researcher is able to critically analyze urban spaces and the relation of self to those spaces. Through a (re)conceptualization of the 19th century flâneur, we explicate the methodological possibilities and applications of flânerie, in particular, as suited to excavating new urban tropes, whilst giving expression to new urban subjectivities. The authors adopt a flânerie identity, engaging in a qualitative inquiry vis-à-vis two “strolls” occurring in Toronto, Canada. The strolls provide opportunities to interrogate subjectivities and perceptions of the authors in relation to the urban spaces they were traversing. In doing so, this paper emphasizes the legitimacy of adopting a flâneur identity as a valid source of qualitative inquiry; one that is able to bring meaning to spaces and places.


Qualitative Research, Urban, Flâneur, Identity, Spaces, Visual Sociology

Author Bio(s)

Jessica Rizk is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at McMaster University. She holds a MEd, BEd, and BA from York University. Her research interests are in the areas of the sociology of education, qualitative methods, digital technologies, and social inequalities. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation examines the integration of new digital learning tools (i.e., robotics, Smartboards, iPads) in K-8 classrooms across Ontario schools, in particular, examining how such digital tools can facilitate new classroom interactions and rituals. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: rizkjj@mcmaster.ca.

Anton Birioukov is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on at-risk students' ability to attend school and alternative schools' attempts to ensure these students are able to progress with their education. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: abiri066@uottawa.ca.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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